Palm Leaf Lontar Manuscript from Lombok
AGE: – Collected in Bali 40 years ago
LENGTH: – 49cm
WIDTH: – 23cm
DEPTH: – 3.5cm
#378 – PRICE: CONTACT
Traditional Palm Leaf Lontar Manuscript from Lombok, written in Sasak Language in Kawi script with a carved wooden cover on each end. Writing on Palm leaves is a Balinese tradition that has been used to record religious scriptures and cultural folklore for centuries.
The technique of engraving words on palm leaves originated in India hundreds of years ago, a tradition that has largely died out. In Bali, the practice of writing in Kawi script in the traditional Sasak Language is still practiced, although it is not so popular due to access to digital copies.
Old Javanese script referred to as Kawi is a Brahmic script related to the Nagari or old Devanagari script in India and is found primarily in Java and was used across much of Maritime Southeast Asia between the 8th century and the 16th century.
The information below was sourced from this website, it is an excellent source of information and gives a good understanding of the importance of these manuscripts to the Balinese people.
Traditionally, lontar have been handled by the Brahmanical or aristocratic elites, religious and ritual specialists, folk healers known as Balian, and even cultured commoners. The largest collections of such manuscripts have been found in Brahmanical compounds and royal palaces, but many common households, especially in the northern and eastern provinces, often hold a few lontar.
The body of texts preserved on lontar encompasses various genres of works of literature; historical chronicles; treatises on medicine, architecture, and theatre; scriptures on matters of Hinduism and Buddhism, rituals, meditation, and magic.
Despite admirable efforts in the preservation, conservation, and popularization of lontar, the knowledge of the languages (and even the script) of the body of texts that the Balinese have inherited from the past remains the preserve of a restricted pool of people. The endeavor to make traditional literature, and especially religious texts, accessible to the masses goes back to the 1930s and 40s. By that time, stenciled pamphlets, printed books, periodicals, and textbooks started to circulate among commoners, who were by then becoming literate, as well as among the educated elites.